Nesta's response to Budget 2013
Read Nesta's response to Budget 2013 from Stian Westlake, Geoff Mulgan and Laura Gardiner.
Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy & Research:
"There is a £200 million treasure for small businesses tucked inside an otherwise austere Budget 2013: it is called SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative). It works by giving small businesses the chance to compete to solve tricky government problems. The winners get contracts. For a start-up, these are gold-dust, since they provide both cash and a customer; often the business's first customer. This may seem small beer compared to the UK's £1.5 trillion economy. But for start-ups, this is a very big deal: it's nearly 40 per cent more than the UK venture capital industry invests each year.
"The UK is in the middle of a £24 billion innovation strike. Today's SBRI commitment allows the government to boost innovative businesses without boosting public spending. Whilst longer term, Nesta would like to see a larger percentage of procurement budgets spent through SBRI, it's heading in the right direction."
"This was an odd Budget. From a Nesta perspective there were welcome moves - including support for creative industries, a potential tax relief for investment in social enterprises and a big expansion of SBIR (Small Business Research Initiative), redirecting public procurement towards innovative small firms. But the bigger picture is less welcome."
"The single largest new measure in this week's Budget (aside from capital investments) was an allowance of up to £2,000 per year to offset the costs of employment for all businesses and charities. We know that entrepreneurial small businesses are set to drive growth in coming years, so is this the boost they need to take the risk and create new jobs?"